FACT SHEET: Ready Kids
Ready is a national public service advertising campaign created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in partnership with The Advertising Council, which is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. As Homeland Security encourages families to prepare for emergencies through Ready, we are regularly asked by parents and teachers if there is information appropriate to share with children. In response to these requests, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and The Advertising Council have created Ready Kids, a family-friendly extension of the Ready campaign.
- Ready Kids is a tool to help parents and teachers educate children, ages 8-12, about emergencies and how they can help their families prepare. Ready Kids includes a family-friendly website (www.ready.gov/) and in-school materials developed by Scholastic Inc.
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security consulted with a number of organizations experienced in education and children?s health to develop Ready Kids, including American Psychological Association, American Red Cross, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of School Psychologists, National PTA, National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their expertise helped present emergency preparedness in a way that is understandable and suitable for children.
- The Ready Kids website (www.ready.gov/) features fun games and puzzles as well as age-appropriate, step-by-step instructions on what families can do to be better prepared for emergencies and the role kids can play in that effort. The website also has additional resources and information for parents and teachers on emergency preparedness and response.
- In addition to the website, Homeland Security has also worked with Scholastic Inc. to develop in-school materials for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students nationwide. These activity sheets offer lessons that meet national standards for language arts, social studies and geography, while providing teachers and parents with a vehicle to explain important emergency preparedness information to children. The in-school materials are being distributed to 135,000 middle-school teachers in the 25 largest metropolitan areas. The materials will also be available on www.ready.gov for teachers to download.
- The Ready Kids materials feature the Ready Kids mascot character, a strong and confident mountain lion named Rex, who encourages children to help their families prepare for emergencies. Rex and his family -- his wife Purrcilla, daughter Rory and best friend, Hector Hummingbird -- explain how families can take a few simple steps to prepare for all types of emergencies. The Ready Kids mascot was developed with The Advertising Council, which has a long and successful 64-year history of developing mascots for other educational programs including Smokey Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog.
- Prominent organizations such as the National PTA, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and Boy Scouts of America are supporting the Ready Kids program by distributing information and materials to their members. For example, the Girl Scouts will use their intranet website to reach the nearly four million Girl Scouts in this country. The Boy Scouts will reach their more than four million members by sending information to their more than 300 local councils and featuring Ready Kids on their website and in an upcoming issue of Scouting magazine. This fall, the National PTA will include the Ready Kids in-school materials in its back-to-school mailings to 26,000 PTAs across the nation.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security promotes individual emergency preparedness through the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps as part of a broader national effort conducted by the Department?s Preparedness Directorate. Ready is a national public service advertising campaign produced by The Advertising Council in partnership with Homeland Security. The Ready campaign is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. Individuals interested in more information about family and business preparedness can visit www.ready.gov/ or call 1-800-BE-READY to receive a "Get Ready Now? brochure. Citizen Corps, Homeland Security?s grassroots effort, localizes preparedness messages and provides opportunities for citizens to get emergency response training; participate in community exercises; and volunteer to support local first responders. To learn more and to get involved, contact your nearest Citizen Corps Council by visiting www.citizencorps.gov/.
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org.